There's no shortage of musicals based on films currently playing on Broadway — Sister Act, Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and, most famously, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. More are due in 2012, including Ghost and Newsies. It's no surprise, then, that producers are mining the world of cinema for yet more possibilities. But not every project being developed seems like a natural choice. Here's a look at six recently announced movie-inspired musicals that, on the surface, seem like odd fits for the rialto:
The Notebook quickly achieved classic tearjerker status with its time-jumping narrative of a tortured romance between two passionate lovers. A musical version of the Ryan Gosling-Rachel McAdams film (which is itself based on a Nicholas Sparks book) has been in the works since 2009 — written by One Tree Hill star Bethany Joy Galeotti, of all people. In an interview this week with CBS' The Early Show, Sparks revealed that the project is now moving forward, with eyes set on the Great White Way. Perfect, says Jen Carlson at Gothamist, another medium in which girls can torture their boyfriends with Notebook viewings. After all, says Jean Bentley at Zap2it, "if you're a lady, you're genetically predisposed to love the crap outta this."
None other than the International Man of Mystery himself, Mike Myers, is working on adapting the Austin Powers films into a Broadway musical (though reports are that he won't star in it). Casey Nicholaw, the co-director of the stage smash The Book of Mormon, is in talks to direct. Jamie Feldmar at Gothamist isn't optimistic: The only people who benefit from this deal are "Myers, for whom this will be a total cash cow, and the legions of Midwestern tourists who will feed him."
No one watching Rocky Balboa for the first time 35 years ago was thinking, "I can't wait for this musical!" says Julie Miller at Movieline. Nevertheless, a song-and-dance version of the venerable underdog boxing film is being vigorously prepped, with music to be written by esteemed Broadway music team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Actually, says Mandi Bierly at Entertainment Weekly, this is not "as crazy as it sounds." Remember, Rocky, like the best Broadway musicals, is at heart a love story.
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Notebook isn't the only tearjerking novel turned film poised to morph into a musical. Because of Winn-Dixie, the 2000 novel about a stray dog who helps a young girl rekindle a relationship with her father — the source material for a 2005 movie starring AnnaSophia Robb and Dave Matthews — is also being adapted. Duncan Sheik, the soft rocker turned Tony-winning composer (Spring Awakening) will write the music, while plans call for a real dog to star. "Yes, a musical starring a dog in the lead role," says The Broadway Blog. Though, given the talent involved with the score, this production may be "nothing to sniff at."
Director Casey Nicholaw is apparently very keen on film-to-musical adaptations. In addition to his involvement with the Austin Powers musical, Nicholaw will reportedly direct a musical version of the 1975 children's novel Tuck Everlasting (which was turned into a film twice, in 1985 and a 2002 version starring Alexis Bledel, Jonathan Jackson, and Sissy Spacek). The story follows a girl's friendship with a boy whose family becomes immortal after drinking out of an enchanted fountain in the forest.
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
A musical version of the '90s comedy Romy and Michele's High School Reunion — which starred Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino as flighty, unaccomplished twentysomethings who attend their small town high school's reunion — received a private industry reading this week. Producers of the show revealed that a Broadway perch is the ultimate goal. If nothing else, says Mallika Rao at The Huffington Post, the film's classic "Time After Time" dance scene must be included.